Motorhead – Seriously Bad Magic

Motorhead - Bad Magic - Seriously Bad Magic Album Cover Artwork

It’s been nearly a decade since the untimely passing of one of heavy metal’s most iconic
figures, Lemmy Kilmister. Fortunately for speed freaks everywhere however, since then
Motorhead have been digging through a back catalogue that stretches back nearly 50
years. Giving their fans a chance to relive some of the bands greatest triumphs and ensuring
that the moustachioed madman’s on stage antics live on.

From the Lost Tapes series that has become a firm favourite for Record Store Day crate
diggers, to the massive collectors edition releases of seminal albums like Bomber and the
legendary Ace of Spades. Motorhead fans have been inundated with some of the most
concise and complete reissues pressed on wax in recent years. With the bands final studio
release, Bad Magic, being the latest album to be paid homage to in such a fashion.

So, why Bad Magic and why now? With so many amazing albums under their bullet studded
belts, the band’s final album may not seem like an obvious choice for this kind of reverie. At
least not yet, not with most of their releases from the eighties and nineties still waiting in the
wings for such treatment.

Once you sit back and listen to Bad Magic in its entirety though, it all begins to become
clear. They may have been getting a little long in the tooth, but Motorhead were firing on all
cylinders at this stage in their career. Something that’s immediately obvious when the
opening salvo of Victory or Die first hits your ear drums. With Lemmy’s nicotine soaked
snarl greeting you like a right hook to the jaw, followed by an uppercut of bluesy hard rock
riffage from the ever underrated Phil Campbell.

They may have been eligible for free bus passes in 2015, but follow up tracks Thunder and
and Fire Storm Hotel prove Motorhead were still every bit a force to be reckoned with. Easily displaying a level swagger that would embarrass bands half their age while simultaneously raising a middle finger to anyone foolish enough to think of them purely as a nostalgia act.

Mikkey Dee’s pounding drum solo on the intro of Shoot Out All Of Your Lights immediately conjures up memories of Bomber too. Adding a little vintage flair to the proceedings and while there are a few weaker tracks, such as The Devil and Electricity,
(with the latter of which sounding a little too similar to Inferno’s Smiling Like A Killer for
comfort) on the whole, Bad Magic is a solid album and probably deserves more praise than
it received at the time.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a collectors edition without some previously unreleased material
and while the David Bowie cover and former Wacken Open Air anthem, Heroes is
probably the best of the bunch. Greedy Bastards and Bullet In Your Brain could both
easily have made the cut for Bad Magic on their own merits and probably should have done.
With Lemmy’s spoken word intro on Greedy Bastards feeling even more relevant today
than when it was recorded.

For the true completionists who already have every bootleg, b-side and misprinted German
7″ single, it’s probably this release’s second disc that holds the most allure. Featuring a
ferocious live set recorded at Mt Fuji Festival in Japan, Motorhead are captured in in fine form despite being in the later stages of their career. Lemmy and Co. put on a
masterclass that deserves a place in every hardcore fans collection.

Like a lot of Motorhead albums from the 00’s, Bad Magic may have fallen by the wayside
for some first time around. With a new studio album dropping every couple of years, a new record wasn’t quite as rare a bird as a release from one of their contemporaries
like AC/DC. This Perhaps lead to a little less recognition than their later work really deserves,
especially considering that their line-up was a strong as it had ever been at that

So, why Bad Magic? Because despite being a largely unsung hero in a back catalogue
packed with more hits than a contract killers resume, it still stands up. While many bands
lose the attitude that carries them through their early years, Bad Magic stands as a
testament to one of the few bands that never did. Making it a more than deserving candidate
for a collectors edition reissue and an album that definitely deserves more time to shine!

Seriously Bad Magic is out now via Silver Lining Music

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